Module code: BMS2039

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to provide an in-depth introduction to the fundamentals of human nutrition for all students on nutrition-based degree programmes, building on knowledge of food science, biochemistry and principles of nutrition and health acquired in level 4.  Students will develop their understanding of the biochemical characteristics of nutrients in the human diet, with particular focus on macronutrients and nutritionally important micronutrients.  The knowledge acquired will fundamentally underpin their learning in a number of other modules in both level 5 (BMS2077, BMS2050 and BMS2052) and level 6 (BMS3056, BMS3069 and BMS3067). Students will also be encouraged to practically apply this knowledge by critically assessing the nutritional adequacy of specific diets encountered in the general population for health and disease prevention.  As such, it has specific utility for students seeking placements and employment opportunities in a broad range of nutrition-focused environments and those working with population groups.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

JEARY Caitlin (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 68

Lecture Hours: 32

Tutorial Hours: 8

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 32

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Energy & Energy balance

  • Nutrient homeostasis

  • Glycaemic Index, dietary fibre and pre/probiotics

  • Fatty acids and lipoproteins

  • Amino acids and nitrogen balance

  • Bone minerals and Vit. D

  • Minerals: Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, Iodine

  • Plant based diets

  • Diets for weight loss and disease prevention

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test Online MCQ Test - 40 minutes within a 4hr window 15
School-timetabled exam/test MCQ Test - 40 minutes 15
Examination SAQ Exam - 120 minutes 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to both demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the course content and to apply this acquired knowledge to given scenarios and questions. As such, the assessment strategy enhances their ability to interpret, problem solve and critically analyse a given situation, all of which are essential transferrable skills to a variety of employment settings. 


The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • MCQ 1: 40 minutes, 15% overall module mark 

      30 multiple choice questions. Addresses learning outcomes 1-3

  • MCQ 2: 40 minutes, 15% overall module mark 

      30 multiple choice questions. Addresses learning outcomes 1, 2, 4

  • Final examination: 2 hours (120minutes), 70% overall module mark 

25-20 short answer questions. Addresses learning outcomes 1-5

Use of SAQ format allows questions to examine application of acquired knowledge, through interpretation of data provided, calculations and providing specific real-life scenarios.


Formative assessment

  • Practice MCQs on Surreylearn

  • Example exam questions provided in subject-specific lectures and revision tutorials



  • Verbal feedback on practice MCQs and exam questions

  • A feedback tutorial will be provided for each in-class test

Module aims

  • To build on knowledge of food science, biochemistry and principles of nutrition and health acquired in level 4 modules to provide a thorough, in-depth understanding of nutrients in the human diet.
  • To develop understanding of a broad range of properties of the macronutrients and nutritionally important micronutrients in the diet, including their biochemical characteristics, functions, food sources and requirements.
  • To develop understanding of the crucial link between nutrition and maintenance of good health.
  • To enhance problem-solving and critical thinking skills and provide opportunities to demonstrate application of knowledge through assessing the nutrient profile of commonly encountered diets in the general population for health and disease prevention.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate understanding of the biochemical characteristics of nutrients in the human diet, including function, requirements, absorption, transport and metabolism. KP
002 Describe the concepts of nutrient essentiality, energy and nitrogen balance, metabolic demand, efficiency of utilisation and practically useful values for nutrient content of food. KP
003 Explain the potential influences of macronutrient intakes on chronic disease states. KP
004 Describe the symptoms of micronutrient deficiency and explain the consequences of excessive consumption. KP
005 Describe and critically assess the characteristics and nutritional adequacy of commonly encountered diets in the general population for health and disease prevention, in the context of both macronutrient and micronutrient content. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Provide all students with knowledge and confidence in the fundamentals of human nutrition, irrespective of nutrition background, which can be enhanced in subsequent level 5 and level 6 modules. This is achieved through a combination of face to face lectures, group tutorials, on-demand content and other learning resources like practice questions and quizzes.

  • Introduce the students comprehensively to all aspects of human nutrition which are inherent to both clinical/industrial placements, and future employment in a wide variety of nutrition environments.  

  • Enable students to develop their critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills through a range of practical activities, including critical analysis of the nutrient profiles of specific diets, calculating energy requirements and energy expenditure and estimating the macronutrient composition of specific foods.  This will also enhance their ability to apply acquired knowledge to real-life situations, a crucial skill for forthcoming placements and future employment

  • Encourage students to integrate learning from concurrent modules (e.g. BMS2077) to consolidate their understanding of the function and importance of key nutrients in the human diet.  

  • Encourage students to actively participate in tutorials, panel discussion and group debate, helping them to articulate their own opinions and develop reasoning skills and resourcefulness. These interactive sessions will also support students to develop as engaged and independent learners.

  • Highlight areas of knowledge where additional reading is required, in order to encourage students to take responsibility for their own development.  Taking ownership of learning is also fundamental for successful progression on placement and throughout working life.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS2039

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:


-Digital capabilities

Students are encouraged to effectively utilise and navigate Surreylearn and to access additional digital resources to consolidate their knowledge and aid learning.  Throughout this module, they will also gain an appreciation of the role and importance of technology in determining nutritional requirements and establishing nutrient intakes.


-Global and cultural capabilities

Students will gain an increased understanding of the increased risk of specific micronutrient deficiencies, for which ethnicity is a risk factor.  This will build on knowledge of ethnic diets acquired from BMS1055 and will prepare them for BMS2050, in which they will learn more about the nutritional requirements of specific population groups.



This module addresses macronutrient and micronutrient requirements in the diet for maintenance of health and prevention of disease and is therefore aligned with the United Nations’ sustainability goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all.  The sustainability of specific dietary habits (e.g. plant-based diets) will also be addressed.


-Resourcefulness and resilience

Throughout the module, students are encouraged to develop their problem-solving skills through active participation in tutorials, where example questions are discussed, including real-life scenarios and interpretation of data, allowing them to translate theory in practice.  Furthermore, they will be introduced to the process of critical analysis through group discussion and debate about the nutritional adequacy of specific diets.



This module provides essential knowledge of the fundamental components of the human diet, which ultimately underpins all disciplines within the fields of nutrition, food science and dietetics.  An understanding of the role of the diet in maintenance of good health and prevention of disease has a wealth of applications, whether working in a clinical environment, in public health or in industry.  The opportunities provided in this module to put theory into practice fosters the ability to apply knowledge to a range of real-life situations and enhances problem solving and critical thinking skills, which are often extremely desirable attributes for employment.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 1 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.